Nature Tours

Hastings College Arboretum
The beauty of the Hastings College (HC) campus is due in par t to the tradition of tree planting that began with the first spring planting season in 1883 and with the help of countless volunteers and professionals. Come explore the HC Arboretum, rich with old and young trees and species variety, located in the heart of the Great Plains near the 40th parallel and 98th meridian.

Dr. Will Locke, Hastings College Emeritus Professor of Teacher Education is available for tours of the arboretum upon request. The Hastings College campus is located on the east side of Hastings between 7th and 12th Street.

Highland Park Arboretum
Established in 2007, this 40 acre site is located in an historical part of Hastings and features large and small trees, scrubs, annual and perennial flowers, trial beds of native grasses, a rainwater garden and new signage. Highland Park is located between 12th and 14th Street, and Burlington and St. Joseph Avenue in Hastings.

Extension Educator, Dr. Ron Seymour is available for tours of the arboretum

upon request. He can be reached at (402) 461-7209 or

Crane Trust Nature Center (25 minute drive from Hastings)
The seeds for the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center were sewn years ago by a group of dedicated supporters who had a vision for a nature center on the Platte River focused on communicating the importance of preserving Nebraska’s natural resources. The Center seeks to increase awareness and appreciation of the Platte River ecosystem by telling its story to a diverse audience from Nebraska
and around the world.

The Center is open year-round but activities and availabilities are defined by the time of year that you plan to visit. For more details please contact the Nature Center at 308.382.1820.

Prairie Loft Center for Outdoor and Agricultural Learning
Prairie Loft's mission is to teach agriculture appreciation, outdoor education, cultural traditions, and the wise use of natural resources. They offer scheduled programs, workshops and presentations for all ages on these topics, catering specifically to those people who value the importance of, today's sustainable agricultural production, intelligent use of resources, learning from history & teaching for our future, and community connections and collaboration. The land where Prairie Loft sits was once part of a farm operation that was part of the state mental hospital, previously known as Ingleside and later as the Hastings Regional Center. At its peak, the farm housed cattle, horses, hogs, chickens, and ducks. Produce ranged from acres of cabbage to banana
trees in the greenhouse.

The site offers a beautiful setting for a workshop, historical presentation, bird watching adventure, marshmallow roast or barn dance.


  • Places to eat

    Hastings’ restaurants offer delicious and fun-filled dining experiences.

  • Places to stay

    Hastings’ offers comfortable, friendly lodging for business travelers and families.

  • Things to do

    From festivals and outdoor activities to shopping and dining, there’s plenty to do.

  • View map

    Making a trip to Hastings? Our visitor info map makes it easy to get where you are going.